Thursday, July 29, 2010

The love you give away is the only love you keep.

I've been reading a lot about making socks for other people and how difficult it is when the receiver isn't pleased with the gift. I've had many similar experiences with this and therefore can empathize very much with those crafters who feel slighted at the response they get from the receiver.

For me, craft work is a way of life for me. I love looking at my finished worked (we've talked about this before) and seeing that I made something with my hands from little to nothing at all. Regardless of quality of product I'm using or the project itself - perhaps the bottom line is that every piece I work is done with love; both the love of the craft and for the love of that person.

In further thinking of this thread of discussion - I've had to re-think my position on the work or the finished product banter we had a bit ago and admit that I do take some pleasure in the process of the project far more than I want to believe I do. Each piece is like a time vault - the time I invested in working the piece - (and I am one to take craft work with me wherever I go to keep my hands busy) details the life I'm living at the moment and the emotions I'm dealing with when working the piece.

It is therefore expected that some crafters would and somewhat should be a little upset when the receiver of the gift isn't as appreciative as we'd hope they'd be. I think this is a big reason why many crafters don't make things for money - rather for love. There just isn't enough money in the world to compensate those lost moments of "work", but there is no price you can put on love.

With that being said, I can honestly say that when I do make gifts for others, I do so with a heart full of love. And as such, I wouldn't want someone to put my love in a drawer and forget about it, or look at me disappointedly hoping I was going to give them an iPod rather than a new pair of socks. The gift is the love and the time I dedicate to making that gift. There is no monetary value you can put on love - it is priceless. So of course, it hurts just a little when the receiver isn't happy with the gift, but, such as in life, I've learned that when I give my love and it's not given back, I don't harbor ill will - I just focus my love on others who will be better receptive to it. It is not the acknowledgement I'm looking for from the recipient - its the return of love and a little appreciation. Love sometimes means having to use the 6 slice toaster your mother bought you when you already have two other toasters because she bought it for you. Love sometimes means wearing the lop sided crocheted scarf your daughter made not because it keeps you warm - but because she made it. And yes, love means sometimes wearing a pair of socks you didn't need because the person who made them for you loves you that much.

What usually ends up happening (time and again) is that the person who was so offhanded about my homemade gift eventually realizes what a special treat they've been given, but by then I've filtered them to the bottom of my to do craft list - and they'll just have to wait until everyone else gets some of my love - a long wait by any standard.

My oldest learned this lesson.

Being the first child she had everything hand crafted, but when she got older and started to complain about homemade gifts I focused my work on others (especially her younger sister) and now she begs to have a pair of mom socks.

In all of my time crafting, I can honestly say that I still have not made (ever) anything for myself to keep. Love is best when you give it away generously and I hope the experience has taught my oldest that love is a precious thing that should be appreciated when it's offered so willingly (especially in craft form). Without it - life is not worth living.

No comments: